Love to read? So do I. I absolutely love to escape to foreign settings, to delight in colorful language, to encounter new ideas, and to hungrily flip through pages — all without leaving my spot on the couch.
But as a mom, I’ve become much more selective when choosing my next book to read. With limited time and less energy at the end of a busy day, I just want to curl up with a book that’s fast, fun and delicious. I want a book to make me think, but not to make me work too hard. From the very first words to the last page, I want the plot, insights, characters, and emotions to whisk me away. Here are several books that have done exactly that.
Author Jhumpa Lahiri is a master at making the immigrant experience feel universal. In this novel, Lahiri introduces her readers to the Gangulis, a traditional Indian family from Calcutta whose transformation begins when they move to Massachusetts. As their American-born son becomes a man, he confronts issues with his assimilation, culture, and familial expectations. The book is both heart-wrenching and quick — an impressive combination. After reading this book, my book club paid tribute to our own families by creating family collages, and sharing family stories with one another.
We Could Be Beautiful
This book takes you into the glitzy and glamorous life of Manhattan’s wealthy, and lands you in front of a sudden, strange, and uncomfortable budding romance. Experiencing a lavish lifestyle alongside a narrator who is both insecure and oblivious creates an intriguing and tense page-turner.
My favorite books are the ones that create an entire universe — making me feel like I know it as well as the neighborhood where I grew up. The Circle, which takes place at the most powerful internet company, does exactly that. When Mae nabs a job there, she feels like she’s won the lottery. But slowly, the company’s gritty and unnerving underbelly begin to reveal itself to her, raising many ethical questions that are especially relevant today.
The Happiness Project
Gretchen Rubin has a wonderful family, a fulfilling career, and, all in all, a very good life. But, she still thinks she could be happier. So, she begins her happiness project, in which she spends one year focused on achieving realistic, but creative goals that build on her happiness. The book is technically self-help, but has such a strong, funny and relatable narrative, that it felt more like a friend’s memoir. Best of all, I tried out a few of the author’s happiness-inducing practices, and guess what? They worked!
A must-read for any woman who works, Lean In shares research on why women haven’t attained as many leadership roles as men, insights into how women have held themselves back, and solutions for getting ahead. Sheryl Sandberg is an extraordinary narrator — smart, self-aware, authentic, and encouraging. After reading Lean In, I received an invitation to participate in a monthly Lean In group, where women could discuss their professional issues with other women in a safe environment. It was a fantastic way to take part in such an important conversation!
Ann has a successful career and lots of friends, but she’s missing her one-and-only. Tired of the dating scene, she decides to give matchmaking a try — in the form of a modern-day arranged marriage. She flies to Mexico and exchanges vows with funny, wonderful Jack. Things seem to be going surprisingly smoothly, when suddenly, they absolutely aren’t.
MWF Seeking BFF
When Rachel Bertsche moves to a new city with her new husband, she realizes that though she is now married to the man of her dreams, she misses having close friends nearby. She spends the next year going on “friend date” after “friend date,” racking up tons of hilarious and awkward stories, while searching for her new best friend. As someone who moved to another country in my mid-20s, and then halfway across the world in my late 20s, I could definitely relate!
What are some fast and fulfilling books that you recommend? I’m always looking for new books to add my list!